Day 3011 – Marriage Advice – Inspired From Five Years Ago

As I’ve been reviewing all of my blog posts, I came across this one, Guest Post by My Husband or Advice to Grooms. Funny, I said it was going to be a weekly thing, and I’m pretty sure this is the only post. I’m not bringing it back, but I do want to answer the questions myself.

What was the highlight of the last week in your marriage?
I think it was last night, when we were reviewing our budget and finances. We’ve used Mint to track our money and budgets for several years and love it. We have budgets set up for each month, and it supplements my Excel spreadsheet budget. There are things that Excel is great at showing me that Mint cannot, like allowing me to see 2-3 years into the future, very quickly. Seeing things like, ok, if nothing changes, we’d hit a hole here. Mint is great to show me what we are actually spending. I also found out AFTER doing our taxes last year that I could download ALL of my transactions. Oy, that would have saved some time.

It was a really encouraging conversation. Which is so night and day from our first few years of marriage. Less than four years after we were married, we paid off 30k of debt. Me freelancing for the last 6+ years adds a level of stress too. For years we wanted money saved, and actually sticking to a budget. It wasn’t until this year that we really made forward progress in our finances. After looking at everything, we realized we were doing better than we realized, and have room to invest a little more.

On the topic of finances, one of THE best moments was booking a trip to California, and being able to pay it off immediately. There was no “ah, we can’t afford this” or “how are we going to pay for this?” While we are far from where we’d like to be, we still took the moment to appreciate where we are now, and how far we’ve come.

Did you learn something new about marriage and/or your husband?
I relearned that communication and understanding how your spouse communicates is SO important. The night we went out to celebrate my sobriety anniversary, we had a pretty big fight/disagreement/whatever you want to call it. I cried, Bret got mad, and it was just a complete mess. But we realized that the main source was my expectations for the evening, that I was completely thrown off of actually knowing what I wanted to do because of too many options, and I just needed to stop a minute and think. Now, all of this happened after driving around aimlessly, assuming things that weren’t true, and lots of tears from me. We each have unique thought processes and it’s important to have conversations that way. One of the cores of our marriage is good communication. Having a long distance relationship when we were dating forced us to grow this skill. While I wouldn’t have picked it, I am so thankful we endured that at the beginning.

What’s your advice to brides this week?
It’s funny, I think I’m just going to steal Bret’s advice from 5 years ago. It’s really great and a good reminder.
“Every time someone asks me how long we have been married, and I tell them, they are like, “oh, you’re still newlyweds”, and make some comment like I haven’t hit the real marriage yet, or like I’m still in for some rough waters, or they try to tell me how women are, or make a comment that shows they believe divorce is an option. And I’m like, don’t condemn me. Why would I even want to talk to someone about marriage, who believes divorce is an option? I want to talk to people who will support not me, not my wife, not even our happiness, but our marriage. I want someone like my dad who will tell me, “It doesn’t matter if you are poor, or unhappy, or if you think they got ugly, you made a promise to them and God. You are supposed to stay with and love your wife.” The world always tells us to do what makes us happy. But God’s way is actually the opposite. It tells us we must die to self, love our wives as Christ loves the church, giving himself for her. So what is my advice? Don’t even let divorce be part of your vocabulary.”

Jennilyn’s quote of the week
“Even Fairies Fart” – This is from a kid’s book called “Even Fairies Fart”

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About 365 days of marriage

I started this blog in April of 2011. At the time, Bret and I were wedding photographers and it was a way to share how marriage is more about the day to day and so much more than the wedding day itself. For about 5 years, I blogged about the joys and sorrows of the Christian walk, marriage, work, family and friends. I’ve blogged every day since a few weeks after I started. In May of 2015, we photographed our last wedding. Now, I have become passionate about simplicity, particularly in marriage, Christianity, business, travel and life. For a number of reasons, we have become minimalists. I’ve found that having simplicity makes life so much deeper, refreshing and joyful. I hope that this blog will help others see the benefits of living simply.

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